I Just Shot John Lennon

Album: To The Faithful Departed (1996)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Lead singer Dolores O'Riordan explained: "I was reading a book about John Lennon's life. I could relate to the fact that when you're a famous person everybody wants to tell you what you should do and who you should be with. Everybody judges you all of the time. I always thought that people judged his relationship with Yoko a little too much, that obviously the man was in love with the woman, and [people] should have left him alone."
  • For the gunshots at the end of the song, they tried to guess how many times Lennon was shot, and came up with five.
  • The song's title comes from Mark Chapman after he killed the former Beatle. On being asked, "Do you know what you've done?" Chapman replied, "I just shot John Lennon."
  • Two couplets in this song earned the band a lot of flak, as is seemed they were making light of Lennon's death:

    He had perceptively known that it wouldn't be nice
    Because in 1980 he paid the price


    And:

    With a Smith and Wesson .38
    John Lennon's life was no longer a debate
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 9

  • Benjamin from NotmyrealnameNot a very good song or subject matter.
  • Ivette from Los Angeles, CaStupid chapman that killed john lennon r.i.p
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjI undrestand people being upset by the title, but it's ripping Chapman and saying how much losing John sucks.
  • John from Seminole, OkJohn was shot five times. He was KILLED by the first shot, or so reporters say, but even interviews with Yoko show that he was shot five times. In one interview, she recalled that she saw Chapman waiting at their apartment, and fled after the first shot, then said she recalled four more shots being fired. Also, in an examination of John's X-rays (there are some on historypost.com), the five bullet wounds are clearly visible.
  • Jade from Sacramento, CaAt the end of the song you can hear gunshots. Not very accurate since he was only shot once.
  • Andres from GuatemalaI don't think you should judge the song just because of the title. I'm saying this because becuase I like the song and I'm a huge Beatles fan. I don't think it's disrespectful to the dead and I don't think it is promoting violence either. I think people should listen to the songs before making a comment on them.
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaI have never heard this song but title sucks!
  • Ariana from Lima, Peruok.. that's stupid.. i hope no-one on earth 'll ever write smth like that again. Lennon promoted peace when he could have promoted anythng.. he's amaizin' and for me he's still alive.
  • Jordan from Ontario, Canadai hate this song: its eerie and disrespectful of the dead
see more comments

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and Glam Metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.